March 2, 2018 Read More →

Renewables Move Into Second Place in Minnesota Power Generation Rankings

Minneapolis StarTribune:

Renewable energy has moved into second place as Minnesota’s largest source of electricity generation, nudging out nuclear power but still trailing coal.

Meanwhile, the cost of wind energy in Minnesota — even without tax subsidies — now appears lower than electricity produced from both natural gas and coal.

Both conclusions come from a report released Thursday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which tracks power generation trends nationally. The report was presented at an event in St. Paul hosted by the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, two industry-led nonprofit groups.

The Bloomberg report also found that over the past few years, even though renewable energy costs have fallen, electricity price increases in Minnesota have accelerated.

Minnesota has gone from having retail electricity prices that were a little below the national average to roughly average. The average retail electricity price in Minnesota rose 13 percent from 2013 to 2017, the Bloomberg report said.

Renewable energy made up 25 percent of the state’s electricity generation in 2017, up from 23 percent in 2016 and 21 percent in 2013. Wind power alone accounted for 18 percent of Minnesota’s generation last year, with hydro and solar comprising most of the rest of the renewable category.

Nuclear power accounted for 23 percent of Minnesota’s generation mix in 2017, the same as the previous year. Coal-fired power was still king with a 39 percent share in 2017, the same as a year earlier.

As price drops, renewable energy surges to second place in Minnesota

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